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I am researching the circumstances of my great-great grandfather CHARLES
BROWN's death. Oral history in my grandfather's family says that his grandfather,
Charles Brown of East Feliciana Parish, LA, was lynched.
Today I viewed microfilm of the East Feliciana Patriot-Democrat for Sept. 20,
This newspaper story indicates Charles Brown was murdered in Mississippi. He
left behind a widow, AMANDA (nee HOWARD) and 8 children.
My next step is to see if I can track down the Woodville, Miss., newspaper,
and try and find the people named in the story in the U.S. Census.
This is a terrible tragedy. I want to further document this event that
happened to my family 126 years ago. If anyone has access to this publication
(Woodville, Miss. Republican or the Clarion-Ledger) or knowledge of these people
(Wilber/Wilbert Phares, Louis Swift), please let me know.
Here's what I found:
HEADLINE: "Outrage and Retribution"
"The Woodville (Miss.) Republican of the 13th inst. says:
On Thursday last a colored man named Charles Brown, attempted to commit a
nameless outrage on the person of Mrs. Wilber Phares, in the neighborhood of Mt.
The particulars we learn are as follows: Brown was engaged in building a
house for Mr. Phares, Mr. Phares and his children were in the field, some
distance from the house, leaving no one on the premises but Brown and Mrs. Phares and
the colored cook. Brown taking advantage of Mrs. P's. unprotected situation,
made the attempt above spoken of, going to the extent of threatening her life
with a hatchet, in case she resisted or informed on him.
Fortunately at this time Mr. Phares approached the house, to whom Mrs. P
fled for protection. Mr. Phares with the assistance of a faithful colored
servant, Louis Swift, succeeded in arresting Brown whom he confined and held in
custody for legal examination.
After dark, a number of the neighbors having heard of the outrage, assembled
at the house, took Brown from the custody of Mr. Phares, and went off. Brown's
body we learn, was discovered next morning about three miles off, suspended
from the limb of a tree. Of his crime there is no manner of doubt, of his fate,
we have only to say, "served him right."
With our contreres of the Clarion, and in fact most of our State exchanges,
we feel that in such cases there is but one course to be pursued, no matted
whether the guilty wretch be black or white."